NASA Research Supports IKONICS Technology

July 06, 2016 - 11:15am

IKONICS Corp., a Duluth-based imaging technology company, announced today that IKONICS Precision Abrasive Machining capabilities align with NASA test results to reduce aerodynamic drag on acoustic jet engine liners.

IKONICS’s precision manufacturing technology is suited to implement a new technique researched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that may help airplane manufacturers reduce operating costs and increase fuel efficiency.

In a new research paper published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA concluded that aerodynamic drag from certain engine liners is reduced if the liners are perforated with slots oriented perpendicular to the airflow, increasing fuel efficiency, reducing operating costs and lessening environmental impacts.

“Most honeycomb acoustic liner perforations are robotically drilled, resulting in circular perforations,” said Bill Ulland, IKONICS CEO. “Precision Abrasive Machining technology can perforate many different geometries, including the slots specified by NASA. Our technology is proprietary and we believe it is not in use elsewhere.”

“Our AMS division is a technology leader in perforating jet engine liners for sound deadening using traditional perforation patterns,” Ulland continued. “When coupled with drag reduction identified by NASA, this could be a major advance in jet engine performance.”

Ulland said the NASA research is an exciting new development. “This is new information, and we are just now bringing it to the attention of the industry. We do not have an estimate of the acceptance rate of this technology and further testing and quantification of the benefits needs to be done.”

“AMS’s revenues have grown in the past four quarters at more than 110 percent over the comparable prior quarters,” he said. “We are hopeful that this new technology will further accelerate this growth.”

AMS recently moved into a new 27,300-sq.-ft. facility to accommodate anticipated growth.

Related Glossary Terms

  • abrasive


    Substance used for grinding, honing, lapping, superfinishing and polishing. Examples include garnet, emery, corundum, silicon carbide, cubic boron nitride and diamond in various grit sizes.

  • abrasive machining

    abrasive machining

    Various grinding, honing, lapping and polishing operations that utilize abrasive particles to impart new shapes, improve finishes and part stock by removing metal or other material.


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